February 2015 Readings, New Biographies, First Friday, and More!

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In This Issue:
First Friday
Upcoming Readings
Indie Bookseller Picks
New Biographies

First Friday

February 6 is First Friday!

 

Drop by and see us during First Friday in Multnomah Village.

 

For your browsing enjoyment, we'll be serving wine. Plus, we'll be giving away great prizes for our adult and children's drawings. Drop by Annie Bloom's anytime after 6:00 on Friday night and register to win!  

 

The adult prize is:

The Portlandia Cookbook

by Fred Armisen & Carrie Brownstein with Jonathan Krisel 

 

The kids prize this month is:

Minecraft Hacks: Master Builder 

by Megan Miller 

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February 2015 Readings, New Biographies, First Friday, and More!
We've got some great readings coming up! Plus, find out which new books indie booksellers across the country are loving. And read about the latest biographies and memoirs. Drop by and see us on First Friday! 
Upcoming Readings
February & March Readings at Annie Blooms:

Portland Poets: Frances Payne Adler, Donna Prinzmetal, Willa Schneberg
Tuesday, February 3, 7pm

Adler is the author of five books: two poetry collections and three collaborative poetry-photography books and exhibitions. She also co-edited Fire and Ink: An Anthology of Social Action Writing. Her current work is Dare I Call You Cousin, about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, a collaboration with Israeli artists. Prinzmetal's Snow White, When No One Was Looking is a collection of persona poetry, re-visions the original fairy tale. The poems investigate the relationship between Snow White's inner and outer world as she reflects on her journey and tells us her secrets. Schneberg's Rending the Garment is a narrative tapestry encompassing persona poems, prose poems, flash fiction, imagined meetings with historical figures, ancestral appearances, and ephemera.

Ian Weir & Stacy Carlson
Historical Fiction Reading
Wednesday, February 25, 7pm

Ian Weir's Will Starling is set in London, 1816. Nineteen-year-old foundling Will Starling returns from the Continent to build a medical practice in London's rough Cripplegate area. This means entering into an uneasy alliance with grave robbers who supply surgeons with cadavers for dissection. There are wild rumors about surgical star Dionysus Atherton experimenting on corpses not quite dead. Will works obsessively to ferret out the truth. Stacy Carlson's Among the Wonderful is set in 1842, in a New York museum run by P.T. Barnum and features grumpy taxidermist Emile Guillaudeu and professional giantess Ana Swift. Within the walls of Barnum's museum, ancient tribal feuds play out in the midst of an unlikely community of marvels.

Nicole Kear
Now I See You
Thursday, February 26, 7pm

At nineteen years old, Nicole walks into a doctor's office in midtown Manhattan and gets a life-changing diagnosis: she is going blind. Kear decides to carpe diem and make the most of the vision she has left. She joins circus school, tears through boyfriends, travels the world, and through all these hi-jinks, she keeps her vision loss a secret. When Kear becomes a mother, just a few years shy of her vision's expiration date, she amends her carpe diem strategy, giving up recklessness in order to relish every moment with her kids. Her secret, though, is harder to surrender--and harder to keep hidden. But if she comes clean with her secret, and comes to terms with the loss, she can still win her happy ending.

Lisa Alber & Leslie Budewitz
Mystery Writers
Wednesday, March 11, 7pm

In Alber's Kilmoon, Californian Merrit Chase travels to Ireland to meet her father, a celebrated matchmaker, in hopes that she can mend her troubled past. Instead, her arrival triggers a rising tide of violence, and Merrit finds herself both suspect and victim. Budewitz's latest mystery is Assault and Pepper. When a panhandler shows up dead at Pepper Reece's Pike Place spice and tea shop, Pepper takes it on herself to sniff out some clues. But her nosy ways might make her next on the killer's list.

Clyde Curley
A Cup of Hemlock
Thursday, March 12, 7pm

In Raggedy Man, the first in the series, Portland Police Detective Matthew Toussaint and his young assistant, Detective Missy Owens, worked to discover who murdered Ben Foeller, the son of Portland's premier dynastic family, a young man whose body was discovered under a bridge approach in the city. In A Cup of Hemlock, the detectives are charged with finding the killer of Nick Lehrer, a high school teacher who was brutally gunned down in his classroom while working late at night. These novels probe political, ethical, and philosophic concerns while personalizing these issues in a large, varied, and colorful cast of characters-including the city of Portland itself, which is detailed in all its idiosyncratic, diverse magnificence.

J.A. Jance
Cold Betrayal
Thursday, March 26, 7pm

Ali Reynolds's longtime friend and Taser-carrying nun, Sister Anselm, rushes to the bedside of a young pregnant woman hospitalized for severe injuries after she was hit by a car on a deserted Arizona highway. The girl had been running away from The Family, a polygamous cult with no patience for those who try to leave its ranks. Meanwhile, Ali struggles to find a way to protect an elderly woman who's been receiving anonymous threats. She and Sister Anselm race the clock to uncover the secrets that The Family has hidden for so long--before someone comes back to bury them forever.
February Indie Next List 
Every month, the coalition of independent bookstores puts together a list of titles recommended by booksellers across the country. Come in to browse the titles below, along with other great new bookseller picks for February.

Unbecoming
by Rebecca Scherm

Amanda at Union Avenue Books in Knoxville, TN, writes: "Julie rents a room in a dilapidated house outside of Paris. In her room at night, she reads the news from Garland, Tennessee, her hometown, where two men are about to be let out on parole for a crime for which she was the mastermind. Julie is terrified of being found and is just trying to survive. This is an exhilarating page-turner with multi-layered characters and several good twists."

Get in Trouble: Stories
by Kelly Link

Nichole at Bookshop Santa Cruz writes: "My brain feels infected by these stories, unable to let go of their twists and turns. The grace of the subtle shifts that Link uses to move her worlds from familiar to fantastic is matched only by the deftness with which she brings it back around to the human condition."

Etta and Otto and Russell and James
by Emma Hooper

Susan at The Book Bin in Onley, VA, writes: "Eighty-three-year-old Etta Vogel quietly sets out one day to walk 3,200 kilometers to the coast of Canada for her first view of the ocean. As Etta travels, author Hooper gently and poignantly reveals a lifetime of morally charged events that shaped Etta, her husband, Otto, and her lifelong friend, Russell. This is a beautiful and sometimes hauntingly stark portrait of three WWII-generation lives, sprinkled with the wise counsel of a loyal coyote names James."

Sweetland
by Michael Crummey

Sarah at Quail Ridge Books & Music in Raleigh, NC, writes: "Sixty-eight-year-old Moses Sweetland's family founded the insular fishing community that shares his surname, and he is the only holdout when the government offers a cash settlement to relocate. Told in sparse, beautiful prose with generous helpings of the local dialect, Sweetland is a requiem for the intimate knowledge of place that a transient society can just barely remember."

Plus, here are some previous Indie Next entries, now out in paperback:

Shotgun Lovesongs
by Nickolas Butler

Recommended in hardcover by Bill at The Booksellers of Fountain Square, Cincinnati, OH.

The Days of Anne Madrigal
by Armistead Maupin

Recommended in hardcover by Deon at Sunriver Books & Music. 

New Biographies & Memoirs 

Check out these new memoirs and bios:  

Leaving Before the Rain Comes
by Alexandra Fuller
A child of the Rhodesian wars and daughter of two deeply complicated parents, Fuller is no stranger to pain. But the disintegration of her own marriage leaves her shattered. Looking to pick up the pieces of her life, she finally confronts the tough questions about her past, about the American man she married, and about the family she left behind in Africa. A breathtaking achievement, Leaving Before the Rains Come is a memoir of such grace and intelligence, filled with such wit and courage, that it could only have been written by Alexandra Fuller.

My Life in Middlemarch
by Rebecca Mead
In this wise and revealing work of biography, reporting, and memoir, Mead leads us into the life that the book made for her, as well as the many lives the novel has led since it was written. Employing a structure that deftly mirrors that of the novel, My Life in Middlemarch takes the themes of Eliot's masterpiece--the complexity of love, the meaning of marriage, the foundations of morality, and the drama of aspiration and failure--and brings them into our world. Offering both a fascinating reading of Eliot's biography and an exploration of the way aspects of Mead's life uncannily echo that of Eliot herself, My Life in Middlemarch is for every ardent lover of literature who cares about why we read books, and how they read us. Now out in paperback!

Whipping Boy
by Allen Kurzweil
Equal parts childhood memoir and literary thriller, Whipping Boy chronicles Kurzweil's search for his twelve-year-old nemesis, a bully named Cesar Augustus. The obsessive inquiry, which spans some forty years, takes Kurzweil all over the world, from a Swiss boarding school (where he endures horrifying cruelty) to the slums of Manila, from the Park Avenue boardroom of the world's largest law firm to a federal prison camp in Southern California. Whipping Boy is much more than a tale of karmic retribution; it is a poignant meditation on loss, memory, and mourning, a surreal odyssey born out of suffering, nourished by rancor, tempered by wit, and resolved, unexpectedly, in a breathtaking act of personal courage.

Penelope Fitzgerald
by Hermione Lee
The acclaimed biographer of Edith Wharton and Virginia Woolf gives us a vivid, intimate, and critically acute portrait of one of the finest and most understated novelists of the twentieth century. Penelope Fitzgerald was a great English writer--many say the greatest in recent years--whose career didn't begin until she was nearly sixty. Despite the late start of her career, Fitzgerald's books won some of the most coveted awards in literature: the Booker Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award. Hers is a story of lateness, persistence, and redemption.

Tennessee Williams
by John Lahr
Lahr has produced a theater biography like no other. Tennessee Williams: Mad Pilgrimage of the Flesh gives intimate access to the mind of one of the most brilliant dramatists of his century, whose plays reshaped the American theater and the nation's sense of itself. This astute, deeply researched biography sheds a light on Tennessee Williams's warring family, his guilt, his creative triumphs and failures, his sexuality and numerous affairs, his misreported death, even the shenanigans surrounding his estate.